Google continues to march on through all kinds of technology moving aside what would have been thought of a mountains seemingly without blinking.

Their next move is the development of instant translation of text using Google Goggles.

It works just how you’d expect it to:

  • Point your mobile camera at the text;
  • Select the area you want to translate;
  • Select the language;
  • Press the button and bob’s yer uncle.

This is a great advance for technology and for people travelling it’ll be so useful, so far there are only a few languages. But Google are working on more all the time.

The other restriction is it’s only available Android phones so until it works on iPhones and Blackberry’s it won’t move over into the mainstream.

How will it affect professional translators?

Well the great thing is that it has a limited use, it can’t read translate a whole book or handle technical text (instant machine translation is only handy for simple text). What it will do is to make people more aware of cultures, languages and people and maybe reduce the worlds reliance on English.

This can only be good news for professional translators, because increased interest will increase the need for professional human translators to create documents which contain the nuance and subtlety that machine translation can’t add.